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Engaged people are self motivated, take initiative and are always seeking to do better and improve their performance.  

These are the people that all companies want because they consistently deliver better outcomes than the rest of the workforce.  The Gallup Group have done a lot of research into what constitutes high engagement and in their book "The 12 Elements of Great Managing"  they outline what companies need to do to create an engaged workforce.  However, if your organisation is looking for staff you need to have instrinsically motivated staff.  These people are already engaged.  You will certainly need to do more around the 12 Eelements to keep these people. 

These people are attracted by challenge, growth and new opportunities.  They are not going to respond to "Ho Hum" position descriptions and they are definitely not going to be attracted to a side ways move.  If you want these people to come and work in your organisation you need to have a compelling value proposition.  Why should they come and work for you?  A heads up, it won't be for the money.  

Sure, money is important but it is a measure of success not an absolute.  If you are negotiating only around money you have missed the real opportunity to sell the position.  If money is the only factor holding someone's attention then they will leave in due course, especially if they are young energetic and ambitious.

Here are some things you can do to attract engaged staff:

  • Develop position descriptions that talk about the future and the challenges ahead
  • Describe what has to be achieved and what they will be measured against
  • Provide the work environment and support that encourages initiative
  • Be flexible in the way the package and benefits are provided
  • Ensure that there is a growth path and development
  • Understand and embrace the individual's unique drivers

The aim is to achieve great performance through the delivery of the desired outcomes.  The costs of getting the right person is insignificant to the value that person brings if he delivers on the outcomes.  If the person is not delivering a multiple of value to the organisation over and above his salary he may not be performing.  If he cannot because of the limitations of the position itself then you may need to consider outsourcing this position as it may be a non-core commodity activity.  

Always determine what value this person needs to bring to the organisation  - what is his ROI.  That will frame the costs and effort you need to spend on bringing the right person to that position.  

It also important to remember that many companies have great intentions but fail in the on boarding process.  Companies need to deliver from day one if they hope to retain good staff..